Rilakkuma Lifestyle relaxes in Hawaii!

Hello, I hope everyone is staying cool during this hot, hot summer!

I will be graduating from medical school this Friday (finally!), and I just got back from an amazing vacation since classes have concluded! I will be sharing my Rilakkuma photos with you over the next several days.

First stop was Honolulu, Hawaii!

This was our first time in Hawaii, so of course we had to bring Shady (Aloha Rilakkuma Store Exclusive Plush) to make his first pilgrimage to Hawaii!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Waikiki Beach

First stop: Waikiki Beach! We were super lucky to find a nice secluded area without many other people—what a great opportunity for these bears to relax!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Waikiki Aquarium

To cool down, we visited the Waikiki Aquarium! Lots of amazing marine life, and Rilakkuma got to meet some cute jellyfish!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Diamond Head Trail

Hiked to the top of Diamond Head Summit Trail! Beautiful weather, scenic hike, and spectacular view of Honolulu at the summit!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Dole Pineapple Plantation Experience

Rilakkuma got to meet some interesting-looking pineapple species over at the Dole Pineapple Plantation! Have you ever seen a pineapple like this?

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail

Another breathtaking hike on the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail! A peaceful view of the southeast corner of Oahu.

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Hakubundo

Of course, had to visit Hakubundo to check out their Rilakkuma goods! The Ward Center location had only a few Rilakkuma products (some coloring books), while the Ward Warehouse location stocked lots of Rilakkuma plush and stationary! Ended up picking up a Korilakkuma Strawberry folder and a Rilakkuma Bakery notebook.

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Koko Crater Trail

Our last hike at Koko Crater Summit was definitely the most difficult! We climbed a strenuous 1,048 stairs for this 360° view!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Ono Seafood - Poke

One of the biggest highlights of our trip was the food! We ate poke everyday, and probably could’ve kept eating it everyday without getting tired of it haha. Could’ve made this entire photo album about our poke marathon alone, but here are just a few select highlights: this photo was taken at one of our favorite spots, Ono Seafood!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Paina Cafe - Poke

Rilakkuma visited the purported home of the original poke bowl: Paina Cafe!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Maguro Brothers - Poke

The fresh fish was excellent! Poke close-up from another one of our favorites, from Maguro Brothers!

Rilakkuma Lifestyle in Hawaii - Marukame Udon

Finally, a hearty bowl of well-deserved udon from Marukame Udon for this hiked-out Rilakkuma!

We had an incredible time in Honolulu!

The Aloha Rilakkuma Series from 2013 is one of my favorite lines, and looking back, I think the Rilakkuma designs were very representative of our experience in Hawaii!

I’m not much of traveler, but this trip really made me want to travel more often! I hope I get the chance to visit the other Hawaiian islands in the future!

Next set will be photos from Seoul, South Korea!

What are your favorite vacation destinations? Anywhere you would recommend for Rilakkuma to visit next?

Maybe I can take Baguette Bear (Bonjour Series Caravan Plush) to Paris one day hehehe. Stay cool out there!

I’m back!

Whew – I feel like I’ve been gone forever! So much Rilakkuma news has happened while I’ve been away!

But I was so excited to come home to a special Rilakkuma gift from the lovely Ariel at Rilakkuma Desu: the first Rilakkumagazine!!

Rilakkumagazine - front

Aloha Rilakkuma cover!

Rilakkumagazine - inside

The magazine folds out to reveal a ton of content! One side has a brief overview of Rilakkuma history, and the other side has details about the Aloha Rilakkuma series, along with some other Rilakkuma news (like the Baseball release).

rilakkumagazine-3

The back panel is my favorite! It features a Rilakkuma plushie adventuring around Hawaii – the photos are kind of like Rilakkuma Lifestyle tumblr style!

Such a wonderful way to be welcomed home! I hope they make more Rilakkumagazines in the future!

Also, my sister has officially started her study abroad program in Japan; you can read about all her (largely food-related) adventures on her new blog!

As a thoughtful sister understanding of my Rilakkuma addiction, she was nice enough to get a magnet set from the KFC x Rilakkuma campaign going on:

KFC x Rilakkuma 2013 - magnet

You can punch out the 4 magnets to make a photo frame!

Yay! Maybe I can snag a box too when I got to Japan next month to visit her :)

In other news, have y’all seen these new mascot towels?

Rilakkuma mascot towels - all

So cute how they can be wrapped to look like towel plushies!

Aww they’re each holding 4 leaf clovers! They’re scheduled to come out on June 8 in Rilakkuma Stores.

PS Remember when I submitted a photo of my Rilakkuma for San-X’s Facebook photo contest?

Well, they announced the winners, and my photo wasn’t chosen T^T It’s a little confusing to me because most of the winners had under 10 votes, and some had no votes at all! I smell something fishy! I definitely saw a lot of other photos with a lot of votes that didn’t get chosen either – what a bummer.

Oh well… Thanks everyone who voted for me – I really appreciate everyone’s support, and I’m so incredibly happy to know there are so many great Rilakkuma lovers around :) Y’all are the best!

Rilakkuma Valentine’s Day 2013 products!

Did you know that Japanese chocolate companies make more than half their annual sales during the week leading up to Valentine’s Day? Whoa!

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s just under a month away, but it looks like some Rilakkuma Stores have already started selling pink Valentine’s themed Rilakkuma products – there’s even Rilakkuma/Korilakkuma holding donuts and looking suspiciously like the Misdo Rilakkuma collaboration series hahaha.

Rilakkuma Valentines Series - 2013

Seriously, Rilakkuma’s essentially holding the same type of donut.

Wow, San-X has been doing WORK recently with all these new shiny releases!

Though with the exception the (unaffiliated) donut Rilakkumas, this set looks pretty similar to last year’s; if you’re curious, Relax Kuma has a really great post about last year’s 2012 Valentine’s set, with a cool explanation of Japanese Valentine’s Day traditions!

Personally, my childhood Valentine’s Day memories were of chalky Sweethearts candies and punny cartoon cards – could’ve used some Rilakkuma back then!

Rilakkuma Furikake!

My sister’s friend from Japan gave our family some Rilakkuma furikake!

Furikake is a delicious dried condiment that you can sprinkle over rice. No, these flakes aren’t Rilakkuma shaped (not that I’d eat Rilakkuma anyway), but they do have some great packaging designs!

Rilakkuma furikake - packaging

Adorable packaging!

Rilakkuma furikake - packets

Flavors by row, from top to bottom: salmon, vegetable, egg, okaka (bonito flakes)

Rilakkuma furikake - Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, Kiiroitori

One of my favorite packet designs, front and back! OMG that Kiiroitori’s is egg flavored though hahaha

Rilakkuma furikake - with Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma loves his rice with veggie furikake!

San-X began selling these as a collaboration with seasoning/instant food brand Nagatanien in July 2011. According to the product page, they are a great source of calcium!

So yummy! Getting addicted…

Rilakkuma & Pizza Hut!

This past summer, Rilakkuma went and paired up with Pizza Hut, my favorite pizza chain, for one of the tastiest collaborations of all time.

From July 2012, if you bought a kid’s size crispy pizza, you could get a cute dessert bowl that came in two different designs (Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma). Also, if you were one of the lucky first 200 at each participating restaurant to order, your pizza would come in a special Rilakkuma pizza box!

Pizza Hut - campaign ad

Cute and simple box design!

Pizza Hut - dessert bowl designs

2 dessert bowl designs – Rilakkuma and Korilakkuma!

Sadly, the official images are super tiny, but thankfully, others have posted larger pictures of their prizes here, here, and here.

Also, I was peeking at the Pizza Hut – Japan’s side menu online, and it looks like the dessert bowl campaign might still be on but now, you can also get a Rilakkuma soup bowl with your purchase of soup!

Pizza Hut - soup

Sweet Corn or Minestrone Soup!

I’ll order it all!

Sometimes I think I have the least healthy eating habits ever, but Rilakkuma makes me feel better because it looks like his diet is pretty similar (pizza, donuts, and macarons?).

Maybe I should stop writing posts while I’m hungry; this is starting to turn into a Rilakkuma + food crossover blog hahaha.

Hara Roll & Rilakkuma!

So while I was researching Hara Donuts & Rilakkuma, I ran into another cute collaboration: Hara Roll and Rilakkuma!

It’s the same company as Hara Donuts, but they’re MACARONS! I love macarons! Looks like these were announced in back in February 2012 as the second time Hara Donuts has teamed up with Rilakkuma (the products featured in the last Hara post were from the third collaboration). The campaign is impossibly cute, as always.

Hara Roll - macarons

Came in strawberry, chocolate, and soy milk flavors.

Wow, I really need these in my life; maybe because there aren’t any macaron shops where I live? These might be in the territory of “too cute to eat” though.

Machadango has a ton a beautiful pictures of this collab – check it out! The reading experience will likely be better if you can read Chinese, because sad fact: Google Translate sometimes converts “Rilakkuma” into “sloth bear” since the Chinese translation of “Rilakkuma” they use is literally 懶熊 (懶 meaning lazy, slothful, or indolent; 熊 meaning bear). Doesn’t have the same gusto, does it? I’ve seen 轻松熊 (where 轻松 means relaxed), 松弛熊 (松弛 meaning relaxation), and 拉拉熊 (“lala”) used too.

Another fun fact, “macaron” in Chinese is 馬卡龍! Literally “horse card dragon”, but it’s pronounced “mǎkǎlóng” – sounds pretty close!

More Donut Rilakkumas!

Keeping with the donut theme, I did a little research to see what other times Rilakkuma has been seen with donuts over the years.

Rilakkuma is certainly no stranger to donuts – back in 2007, Rilakkuma was seen stuck in a giant sprinkle donut as part of the Rilakkuma Cafe Series. Afterwards, San-X later had to release instructions on how to get Rilakkuma out of the donut so that you could use the donut like a cushion like the advertisement described.

Rilakkuma Cafe Series - donut

Rilakkuma could just eat his way out, if he wanted to.

Rilakkuma Cafe Series - donut side and back

Side and back views

Rilakkuma Cafe Series - donut seat

Finally free!

After that, San-X must’ve thought to consolidate those ideas together, because they released a donut-shaped Rilakkuma cushion in April 2012!

Donut Rilakkuma Cushion

Seems a little silly to be sitting so close to Rilakkuma’s face…

That should conclude Rilakkuma’s donut history for now! We’ll see if Rilakkuma partners up with donuts again (hopefully he’ll come to the US, too)!